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November 14, 2012
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  Top Story 
  • Type 2 diabetes control might not lower stroke risk
    Patients with well-controlled type 2 diabetes showed lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels but had higher pulse wave velocity than patients in a control group, according to a study in Diabetes Care. Researchers said pulse wave velocity was associated with white matter lesions in diabetes patients and "may represent a clinically relevant parameter in the evaluation of cerebrovascular disease risk in type 2 diabetes." News (11/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Clinical News 
  • Review: Steroid shots offer limited benefit for sciatica
    Steroid injection into the spine provides only small, short-term relief for sciatica-related leg and back pain, according to a review of 23 clinical trials involving more than 3,100 patients. "Given that the treatment effect is likely to be small and short term, patients with sciatica should discuss the potential risks involved in [steroid injections] with their doctor before agreeing to the procedure," according to the study co-author. The study appeared in the Annals of Internal Medicine. HealthDay News (11/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Fasting before cholesterol screening may be unnecessary, study finds
    Canadian researchers looked at results of cholesterol tests for more than 200,000 people and found small differences in total cholesterol and HDL cholesterol readings between those who have recently eaten and those who fasted for at least eight hours. The two patient groups had a less than 10% variance in LDL cholesterol and less than 20% variance in triglycerides. The findings appear in the Archives of Internal Medicine. WebMD (11/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Premature birth rate in U.S. hits lowest mark in a decade
    The percentage of babies born prematurely dropped for a fifth consecutive year in 2011 to 11.7%, the lowest rate in 10 years, according to the annual March of Dimes report card. Although the premature birth rates in 45 states improved between 2009 and 2011, only four states received an "A" grade. Overall, the country still got a "C" grade from March of Dimes. HealthDay News (11/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Practice Management 
  • Southern states have highest antibiotic prescribing rates
    Health care practitioners in seven southern states prescribe the most outpatient antibiotics on a per capita basis while those in Pacific Coast states have the lowest prescribing rates, according to a report from the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy. A Pew Health Group study showed overall antibiotic prescription rates dropped 17% from 1999 to 2010 and that 36% of Americans still mistakenly believe antibiotics treat viral infections. Medscape (free registration) (11/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • EHR review identifies cases of high acetaminophen intake in hospitals
    An analysis of EHRs in two Boston-area hospitals showed that 4% of patients received higher-than-recommended doses of acetaminophen, elevating the odds of toxicity and acute liver failure. Researchers recommended greater use of clinical decision-support systems to ensure appropriate usage of acetaminophen. The results were published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. Modern Healthcare(free registration) (11/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Health Policy & Legislation 
  • Report: States offer funding to encourage PCMHs
    A report in the journal Health Affairs showed 25 states have adopted payment mechanisms that encourage the growth of patient-centered medical homes in the past six years. The report found that 14 states allow performance-based provider payments, four have a shared savings model and eight focus PCMHs on team-based care. Hospitals & Health Networks Magazine (11/2012) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • ACA still faces legal challenges
    Legal challenges still have potential to undermine the Affordable Care Act, experts say. Lawsuits working their way through the courts address subsidies to buy health insurance on federally run exchanges, put forth new objections to the law's mandates and allege that the ACA is in essence a tax law that should have originated in the House. Politico (Washington, D.C.) (11/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Professional Issues & Trends 
  • U.S. needs 52K additional primary care docs by 2025, study finds
    The U.S. will need about 52,000 more primary care doctors by 2025 to accommodate population growth, shifting demographics and provisions in the Affordable Care Act, a study found. Physician office visits are expected to increase from 462 million in 2008 to 565 million in 2025, researchers reported in the Annals of Family Medicine. (11/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • AMA releases contractual employment guidelines for doctors
    With nearly a third of medical residents in their final year considering hospital employment, the American Medical Association has issued guidelines for doctors practicing under contractual employment. The guidelines cover topics including advocacy, conflicts of interest, performance assessment, staff relations and compensation. Health Data Management (11/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Inside the AAFP 
  • AAFP gives out awards
    The AAFP recently awarded Philip Huang, M.D., M.P.H., medical director for the Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Department in Texas, the 2012 AAFP Public Health Award. This award recognizes individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the health of the American public. In addition, the AAFP awarded Richard Roberts, M.D., J.D., professor of family medicine in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison, the 2012 John G. Walsh Award. The award is one of the highest bestowed by the AAFP and is designed to recognize long-term commitment and dedicated effective leadership that furthers the development of family medicine. Read more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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A man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them."
--Mark Twain,
American writer

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